Sector News

Chinese drugmakers snag antibody expert Ambrx in joint buyout

May 22, 2015
Life sciences
A group of Chinese biotech heavyweights are banding together to buy Ambrx, R&D partner to the likes of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck, in hopes of making the company a go-to collaborator in their native country.
 
Under the deal, drugmaker Fosun Pharma, CRO WuXi PharmaTech and investors China Everbright and HOPU Investments have joined forces to acquire Ambrx, which is headquartered in San Diego. The consortium isn’t disclosing a price tag, saying only that it plans to close the deal next quarter.
 
Ambrx has made its name crafting so-called antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), in which researchers pair toxic chemicals with targeted antibodies to treatments that can home in on tumors while sparing surrounding tissues. Beyond its stable of R&D partners, the biotech has a proprietary pipeline of ADC treatments led by ARX788, a breast cancer treatment slated to enter the clinic this year.
 
Ambrx’s collaborators–a group that also includes Astellas, Eli Lilly and Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical–have paid the biotech more than $200 million in upfront cash and milestone payments, and the company’s soon-to-be owners believe they can raise its profile in China’s growing market for biotech R&D.
 
“Upon completion of the acquisition, Ambrx will obtain quality resources from its Chinese partners, so as to further advance the technical innovation of their research center based in the U.S., and to establish a global product development center based in China,” China Everbright CEO Chen Shuang said in a statement.
 
Ambrx, a 2005 Fierce 15 honoree, swung for an $86 million IPO amid 2014’s deluge of Wall Street debuts but later scuttled those plans and had largely remained quiet ever since.
 
By Damian Garde
 

comments closed

Related News

June 24, 2022

Echosens and Novo Nordisk announce partnership to increase awareness and advance early diagnosis of NASH

Life sciences

Echosens, a high-technology company offering liver diagnostic solutions, and Novo Nordisk A/S, a leading global healthcare company, announced a partnership to advance early diagnosis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and increase awareness of the disease among patients, healthcare providers and other stakeholders.

June 24, 2022

argenx receives positive CHMP opinion for Efgartigimod for the treatment of adult patients with Generalized Myasthenia Gravis in Europe

Life sciences

Positive opinion based on Phase 3 ADAPT trial showing efgartigimod provided clinically meaningful improvements in strength and quality of life measures. If approved, efgartigimod will be the first neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) blocker for the treatment of adults in Europe living with rare neuromuscular disease generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG).

June 24, 2022

Galapagos finally takes M&A plunge, spending $251M for 2 biotechs in CAR-T push

Life sciences

Galapagos CEO Paul Stoffels, M.D., has finally taken the plunge on M&A. The newly minted chief executive has signed not one but two deals in an attempt to right the ship, bringing two small biotechs aboard for a combined 239 million euros ($251.4 million).